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Google buys Motorola Mobility


By: Jason Aucremann

On:



This morning Google announced that it will buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Larry Page explained in a conference call with analysts that the main reason for doing this was patents. Recently Google has been under scrutiny because of claims that Android violates several patents. By purchasing Motorola Mobility Google can now better defend Android and other hardware partners. Google has said that Android will continue to be an open platform for other vendors and that Motorola Mobility will continue to be run as a separate company.



Read the full article on ZDNet.com or Mashable.com


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Epsilon Hacked!


By: Jason Aucremann

On:



Many people have received email from various companies alerting them that their email address may have been stolen. Epsilon is one of the worlds largest email marketing firms and on March 30th they discovered a security breach in their email database. Apparently Epsilon has about 2500 clients and many of them are big companies. According to their press release on April 6th, 2% of Epsilon's total client base was compromised.  They stated that no PII (personal identifiable information) was stolen, only names and/or email addresses.

So what does this mean for us, the users? Be on high alert for fraudulent emails and scams. Most likely this information will be used in "spear phishing" attacks. A phishing attack is where a hacker or malicious person attempts to get you to give them some information. This is usually done with an email asking you to go to a website to confirm or update some information. Most of us know to ignore an generic email asking for information... if not NEVER give any information based on the request of an email! With spear phishing it's a little different, the attacker has a little more information and can make the email look more legit. With phishing for example you may receive and email addressed to "Dear Customer" which would and should raise a red flag. With spear phishing you may receive an email address with your name, and most likely from a company you do business with.

How can you protect your self? Here are a few email safety tips:

Never open a link from an email! If you receive an email asking you to go to a web page, even a web page that you know, open your browser and manually type the address. Links in email can be forged and a slight difference can take you to a completely different site. This is by far the most important tip.

 

Most phishing and spear phishing attacks try to make you panic. Saying things like "Respond now or your account will be closed" or "Immediate action required".  They want you to think it's an emergency and act right then without thinking. Most companies who need you to update, renew or anything like that send you messages long in advance - they don't wait till the last minute.

 

If it sounds to good to be true it probably is! It's a tried a true motto and applies to email and most things on the web. Watch out for emails requesting you to login to win free stuff.

 

Most phishing attacks use images and HTML in the email to make it look more legitimate, setting your email client to only show plain text emails can reduce your chance of being fooled. There are many other security issues with HTML emails, this includes viruses, mal-ware and other malicious attacks.

 

Make sure you have a current anti-virus software and spam filtering software. Most good anti-virus software can catch malicious emails. If an email is marked as spam then it probably is. Just delete it!


These are just a few tips to help you stay safe while using your email. If you have any questions please contact us, we would love to help you secure your email.


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Amazon Appstore for Android


By: Jason Aucremann

On:



So for those of you who haven't heard Amazon recently opened an Andriod app store. This is an alternative to Google's Android Market. The addition of an app store to Amazon's list of services makes it the only real competition to Apple, iOS and iTunes. You can now get eBooks, digital music (download and streaming), videos (a limited selection of movies and TV shows) and now apps for Android all from one company with one account. This is something that Google has not been able to put together yet and has been one of Apple's big advantages so far.

 

Amazon is also giving away one app a day. Everyday they choose one paid app to give away for free! They also have a "test drive" feature on their website. You can run an app in a virtual Android environment right on their website. This is a great way to test apps and see how they work. You can also feel a bit more comfotale about installing apps because Amazon is actually verifying the apps in the app store. This may mean that the Amazon Appstore is not quite as open as the Andriod Market, but hopefully most of the malicious and usless apps will be filtered out.

 

So you wanna get the Amazon Appstore? Visit Amazon.com and click the Amazon Appstore for Andrios button on the right.


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Amazon Cloud Player


By: Jason Aucremann

On:



Amazon just released their Cloud Player for Andriod and web. The idea is that you can upload your mp3s to the cloud and then stream or download them where ever you would like. They offer 5 gigs for free and if you buy an mp3 album they will give you 20 gigs for free for a year. Another interesting thing to note is that mp3s that you buy from Amazon do not count against your quota. So if you buy all your music from Amazon you esentially have unlimited mp3 storage. This great for people with an Android phone because you don't have to worry about syncing things to your phone from your computer. There is also an Android Cloud Player app that will connect directly to your cloud storage and stream your music right to your phone. I've had a chance to play with it and upload some music and so far it works great. Check out the Amazon Cloud Player and try it for yourself. Visit Amazon.com and click on the Amazon Cloud Player button on the right. Could this lead to a viable alternative to iTunes?


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Are you ready for IPv6?


By: Jason Aucremann

On:



You're probably saying "What is IPv6?" Well here's a quick explanation...

 

The internet is currently based on IPv4, which simply stands for Internet Protocol version 4. You may have heard of an IP Address. The most common one you may know is 192.168.1.1. This is very likely the the IP address of your home router. IPv4 addresses can range from 001.001.001.001 all the way to 255.255.255.255. This range yields about 40 Billion addresses. Every thing connected to the internet has one of these addresses. So with 40 billion that's about 5 per person in the world, we'll never run out! Well think again, with the addition of so many devices to the internet that's exactly what's happening. So what's the solution you might say... IPv6. Where IPv4 has 40 billion addresses IPv6 has about 37 trillion... YES 37,000,000,000,000! That mean each person in the world can have over 4000 IPv6 addresses. We'll NEVER run out now... well not in our life time. 

 

So what does this all mean to YOU?

As the average computer consumer probably not much. Most of this transition will happen behind the scenes with out you ever noticing. There in lies some of the problems. Right now you're computer is probably behind a firewall. A firewall protects you from the internet, blocking other people from simply connecting to your computer and taking it over. Unfortunately most firewalls don't protect or block IPv6 traffic. That's okay you might say I haven't enabled it. That may be correct you didn't enable it... but our friends at Microsoft have. As of Windows Vista IPv6 in enabled by default. This means that even though you have a router/firewall in your home or office you're computer is still directly connected to the internet with IPv6. 

 

Okay how can you fix this?

Well the first step would be blocking it in the Windows Firewall. By Default the windows firewall allows all IPv6 traffic. You should go into the advanced settings and find the references to IPv6 and change the to be blocked. You can do this by right clicking on the entry and choosing properties and changing the action to block. You mainly want to block the incoming IPv6 connections, you probably want to allow the outgoing IPv6. This will allow you to still use IPv6 as it becomes more widespread but still protect your computer. 

 

In a corporate environment you may want to consider getting a firewall appliance that can block IPv6. For the time being it's better to block all IPv6 then to allow potential hackers a way in. 

 

How can I try IPv6?

The first thing you can try is to go to an IPv6 website. You can try ipv6.google.com for startes. If it comes up at all then you have IPv6 working. We are also working on getting an IPv6 test server up and running. We will let you know as soon as we have one. Also June 8th 2011 is "World IPv6 Day", many of the larger internet companies will be switching on IPv6 for this day. Companies such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook and many other large companies are planing to be involved in this. You can visit http://isoc.org/wp/worldipv6day/participants/ for more information.

 

If you would like any other information on IPv6 please contacet us. Complete Microsystems is IPv6 certified by HE.net and we ready to help you prepare your home office or business for these changes.


Credit

Thanks to the guys at Hak5 tipping me off the the security risks here.


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